Scale Equivalent Chart

Size Examples Scale
6mm Firestorm Armada, Epic 40k. 1/10,000
10mm Firestorm Planetfall. 1/182
15mm Pre-20th Century war gaming, also used for fantasy, science fiction, and 20th Century “skirmish-level” games. 1/107
18.5mm Model railroad HO is “half O” scale. Many railroad, scenery, and armor models available in this scale. 1/87
20mm Popular for skirmish-level 20th Century war gaming and science fiction. 1/80
22.4mm Same as OO scale. Plastic miniatures and kits of aircraft, vehicles, and soldiers are available. 1/72
25mm Popular for fantasy, historical, skirmish, science fiction, and role-playing games. Same as railroad S gauge. 1/64
28mm Heroic or large 25mm figures sometimes listed as being 28mm. 1/56 or 1/58
30mm Confrontation miniatures, as close as you can call for a mythical figure. 1/54
33.5mm Popular scale for plastic aircraft kits. Some display figures available in this scale 28mm figures fit well in this scale. 1/48
37mm O scale in railroads. 1/43
50mm Popular scale for plastic kits of armor. Occasionally used for modern gaming. 1/35
54mm Toy soldier scale, recently arrived as GW Inquisitor miniatures. 1/30
?mm Life size. Like YOU are a 1/1 scale person. 1/1

To mathematically convert ratio scales into height scales, assuming that height scales measure to “eye height” while ratio scales measure to “head height”, divide 1610 by the scale.

For example, 1/285 figures are about (1610 / 285 = 5.6) 6mm figures. The reverse is also true: to get ratio scale, divide 1610 by the height scale. Thus, 25mm figures are equivalent to (1610 / 25 = 64.4) 1/64. The 1610 comes from using the eye height of the average man, measured in millimeters, about 1610 mm or 5′ 3″ to the eye.

Equivalent height and ratio scales, multiplied, should always result in the same constant.

So what is the constant for a manufacturer who measures height scale to top of the head, rather than to eye level? In millimeters it would be 1730 or about 5′ 8″.

So What Do I Buy To Match My 40k Stuff?

Another problem for 40K players is the figures are not the same scale as the vehicles. Of course that can be argued as the vehicles are imaginary, so they could be any size you want.

For terrain, buy what looks good. Railroad HO bridges make excellent walkways. HO trees make good saplings or shrubs. S and O buildings and scenery works well.

Plastic armor and accessory kits in 1/35 are the best for bits and accessories (cans, barrels, etc) but most of the vehicles are too large. I have used the M113 armored personnel carrier in 1/35 for rhinos very successfully. They are much closer to the proportions of the new rhino.

Your best bet is to look at the kit whenever possible, a buy it based on size and forget the scale.

See also: The Miniatures Page – Measures of Scale